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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Tell it to SunStar: No more death penalty?

THE administration may have already come to terms with the reality that it is now impossible for anybody to be executed via a court order

throughout President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s tenure, simply because at best it takes around five years for any potential (death penalty) case to go through due process of law, and his term also ends in five years.

Owing to lack of time, the President won’t get to have his show after all, so it seems that the administration is no longer keen on producing the show.

Duterte has publicly said he intends to send hundreds of convicts to the gallows once Congress reintroduces the death penalty that was abolished in 2006.

“Restore it and I will execute criminals every day--five or six. That’s for real,” Duterte said in General Santos City in December.

The bill reviving death sentences was passed by the House in March. But the measure is already “dead” in the Senate, where at least 13 members are committed to vote against it, according to Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon.

There is now no chance at all that the return of death verdicts would be enacted this year.

The Senate is clearly not going to pass the bill before the end of the first regular session of the 17th Congress on June 2.

In the second regular session of the 17th Congress, both the House and the Senate would be preoccupied with the proposed General Appropriations Act for 2018 from August to December.

We reckon the Senate in particular will also be extra busy deliberating on the proposed Comprehensive Tax Reform Package, assuming the bill gets through the House before June 2.

The death penalty was “killed” by a series of dreadful police atrocities, starting with the Oct. 18 tokhang-for-ransom and murder of South Korean business executive Jee Ick-Joo inside Camp Crame itself.

It served as a big eye-opener. Every citizen would be vulnerable to the death penalty as long as we have thousands of rotten officers around.

Somebody up there truly works in mysterious ways, because Jee’s killers obviously went to great lengths to cover-up their crime by immediately cremating his remains, and yet they were still exposed.--Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza
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